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Pro-Life Speaking

Enjoying My Role As an Inspirational Speaker

Inspirational Speaker - Chet McDoniel speaks to Goodwill KansasThis past weekend, my dad and I journeyed out to speak four times at three different locations in two different states.  We first arrived on Thursday night in Wichita, KS, were I spoke to Goodwill Easter Seals of Kansas.  Goodwill was celebrating the year with an awards banquet, and we watched as so many employees were rewarded for their hard work.  We also heard some of the best “acceptance speeches” ever.  One young lady simply walked up to the microphone after receiving her award and announced, “Woohoo!”  I think the Academy Awards recipients in Hollywood need to take a cue from these Goodwill employees.  It was a fantastic night, and I was so glad to get to tell my story and inspire those serving the community in Wichita, KS.

Next, on Friday, we boarded the plane headed for Sacramento, CA (after a stop back in DFW…gotta love the routing of the airlines).  After landing, we drove to Stockton, CA, where we both were to speak for Stockton Pregnancy Healthcare.  Their annual banquet was held at an area country club, and the dinner was “luau” themed.  After eating some great food, my dad and I told our story.  We had a great crowd and they were very attentive despite a loud party going on in the room next to ours.  I was so impressed by what Stockton PHC has been able to do with very little financial support, and we hope that those at the banquet that evening were able to help continue the pro-life cause in Stockton, CA, with their donations.

We took Saturday to drive to San Francisco to see “Wicked.”  Such an awesome show, and what a great lesson to learn about not judging others by the color of their skin.

Finally, on Sunday, we spoke twice at Quail Lakes Baptist Church in Stockton.  This church was rockin’, and they were so welcoming to us.  I was so impressed by the multitude of races represented in their membership.  I firmly believe that God intends for our churches to reflect the racial makeup of the world around us, and it was so refreshing to see people from so many different backgrounds worshiping together.  Quail Lakes Baptist and Pastor Marc are to be commended for not excluding anyone from the message of the Gospel.

In closing…I LOVE my job as an inspirational speaker!!!  I was glad to get home to my family, but even though it was tough being away from home, I absolutely loved the ability to simply tell my story and for others to be touched by it.  Praise God for the amazing things He is doing right before our eyes!

Walking “Hand-in-Hand”

Inspirational Speaker - Chet McDoniel walks hand-in-hand with his daughter.This past week, my family and I traveled to Baltimore, MD, for the 2009 Care Net Conference.  In their own words, Care Net and their network of more than 1,100 pregnancy centers offer hope to women facing unplanned pregnancies by providing practical help and emotional support.  I attended the conference as an exhibitor to talk to various people about my story and pro-life speaking opportunities.  The conference was wonderful and not only did I get to meet so many people, but those new people made me feel as if I were already part of the Care Net family.

While the conference was great, my favorite part of the trip was the couple of days after the conference when my daughter, Hannah, and wife, Joni, and I got to play in Baltimore.  At one point during those two days, my wife told Hannah to “hold daddy’s hand while we walk” because Joni’s hands were full and we were in a crowded area.  Now, before you think my wife was being insensitive, in our family, we exchange the words “foot” and “hand” all of the time when referring to me as my feet serve as my hands.   We’ve never gotten hung up on word choices.

What amazed me, though, is that our 18-month daughter had already picked up on this, and when instructed, she walked right over to me and grabbed my foot.  We came together in that pose many times throughout the trip, and I’m sure we will many times to come.  What is so inspiring and amazing to me is Hannah’s acceptance of what is “normal” in our family.  She doesn’t know any differently, so she treats me with full acceptance and love unlike the world around me that often treats me as handicapped before they get to know me.  Hannah’s attitude shows what we all could be like if we simply treated others with respect and love without judging others based on looks.

I love my girl just as much as any other father loves his child, and my daughter loves me with no regard to how I look.  That is amazing.

What A Day This Has Been

Chet McDoniel speaks at Fenton Right-to-Life

Two weeks ago, my dad and I were headed to Fenton, MI to speak at the Fenton Right-to-Life Annual Banquet. The morning started out just fine, however very early as we made our trek to the DFW airport around 4:30AM. American Airlines loaded us onto the plane along with everyone else who was going to Chicago (where our connection was waiting to take us on in to Flint, which is very close to Fenton).

Then, the problems began…

Right around our scheduled departure time, the pilot came on the intercom announcing a problem with the plane, and that we needed to get off this plane in order to get on a different one (hopefully, one that was working!). We quickly realized that our connection would not work as it was only a one-hour window originally, and this delay would make it impossible. American Airlines gate agents were extremely helpful, however, the next flight to Flint from Chicago would not get us to the banquet on time. They re-routed us to Detroit, however, our bags had to stay on the original schedule. That meant that our clothes, sales products, and some materials we use in the presentation wouldn’t arrive in Flint until just after 6PM. The banquet started at 6:30PM.

We decided that all was not lost. We arrived in Detroit and Enterprise was happy to transfer our rental. We drove into Flint to find a Men’s Warehouse where we could buy new clothes and have them tailored on the spot. You see, I can’t just go out and buy a new shirt because of the sleeves. The tailor at the Flint Men’s Warehouse did a great “emergency” job. We called the director of the Right-to-Life group, and she was very gracious and even happy that we were in town. She said as long as we were there that evening, she would be pleased.

Well, our bags arrived while we were at the banquet and my cousin who lives nearby was able to grab them at the airport and rush them over to us. The table of sales materials was set up while we were speaking, and the DVD and CD we needed for the presentation arrived with only a minute or two to spare.

All in all, the evening was a complete success. And, not only that, but our day was not ruined by all of the travel issues. Keeping a positive outlook on the day allowed us to not worry, and to be ready to deliver our message that evening.

Remember, only you can ruin your own day!

A “Walking Case Study for Pro-Life”

A “Walking Case Study for Pro-Life”…that’s how I have referred to myself sometimes.  Of all the social and political issues, Pro-Life is something that hits close to home for me.  My dad even tells that in the delivery room, I was placed in a corner of the room after having the customary post-birth suction, etc, done.  I was left alone in that corner and for lack of a better way to put it, I was “given a chance to die.”  Now, that was 28 (almost 29) years ago, but the fact remains that a doctor made the decision that my life may not be worth living.

Well, obviously I didn’t agree with that decision and even in the delivery room, I had a fighting spirit that wouldn’t give in.  So, 28 years later, I was given the chance to speak to over 800 people fighting for the Pro-Life cause.  This past Tuesday evening, my dad and I were in Visalia, CA at the Tulare-Kings Right to Life annual banquet, and we were featured as the keynote speakers.  As you can see above, the banquet hall was quite large, and beautifully decorated for the event.

My dad and I presented our “All He Needs” presentation, with a few twists to make it more appropriate for the event.  Dad spoke about how they were asked soon after my birth if abortion would have been an option had they known of the physical nature of my body while I was in the womb.  Dad said that he answered the same then as he would now, “Abortion was never in our minds and never would have entered our minds, had we known of Chet’s limb deficiency.” 

I concluded our presentation, after many stories and life lessons, by issuing a challenge to live a happy, positive life.  “If I can do it, so you can you,” I told the attendees.  I finished by singing Garth Brooks, “The River,” which is a wonderfully inspirational song about living your dreams. 

We had a wonderful time in Visalia, CA, and the Tulare-Kings Right to Life organization is to be praised for the work they are doing in helping to educate the public on these important issues.